Are High Speed Chases Legal? Houston Police Chase Injuries Today
A vehicle involved in a police car chase may sometimes injure bystanders and passengers. These chases are required but they often create a dangerous situation for everyone involved. According to USA Today, since 1979, more than 5,000 passengers and bystanders have been killed in police car chases.Contact an attorney at (832) 463-1003.
Police Chase Car Accident Injuries
The USA Today analysis also reveals that thousands more were injured as officers pursued suspects at high speeds often for minor infractions. In this regard, some states have started changing their laws to limit extreme pursuits to cases where violent felony is involved.
Recent Police Car crashes
On February 25, 2018, a suspect crushed into three cars during a police chase in North Houston. The suspect sped off when the police tried to pull them over. Later three people were arrested including the driver. The driver had refused to pull over after committing a traffic violation.
In Harris County, Texas, a suspect’s vehicle crashed into an innocent bystander’s vehicle at Brightwood Drive and Steubner Airline road on June 12, 2018. That bystander was sent to the hospital in critical condition. The officers quickly detained the three suspects but the fourth was only captured after a long search with the help of a Constable K-9. The police were chasing the suspects after they allegedly stole a vehicle.
Who can be held liable for a high-speed chase accident injury?
If a Texas DPS vehicle was responsible for your accident, you may not have a lot of legal options. The Texas DPS has its own rules which allow for high speed chases regardless of the seriousness of the crime. The officers may hold some liability for injuries inflicted during a high speed chase, but your lawyer will have to prove that state or federal laws or internal organization protocols were not met. Providing proof is challenging but not impossible.
According to Texas tort law, any government in the state is liable for property damage, personal injury, and death that is a direct result of the negligence of an employee operating a motor-driven vehicle. Apart from state or federal law, officers also have to abide to internal protocols for when or where a chase can or cannot be continued, the speed of the chase and more.
Generally, insurance companies will not offer compensation if their client’s car was used in a car chase without the owner’s permission. Moreover, suspects may not compensate you because they are unlikely to have purchased auto liability insurance.
Case of the Injured Innocent
However, innocent victims can seek payments for injury losses from their own insurance companies. They can only do this if their auto insurance policy includes uninsured motorist’s coverage and underinsured motorist’s coverage.
Liability for Police Car Chase Injuries
Liability in any police car chase injury depends on individual circumstances. You will need legal help to identify who is responsible for your injuries in such a complex situation. You have to handle medical bills, miss work and you may also suffer psychologically. You should not suffer silently because a police officer or suspect showed reckless disregard for your safety during a car chase.
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